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Could a reliance on public benefits affect permanent residency?

Coming to a new country may have been a stepping stone for many individuals looking to better their lives and the lives of their families. Of course, simply entering the country does not necessarily mean that success will be immediately found. As a result, many immigrants may need assistance from government benefits programs. While this may not have been an issue in the past, this need could potentially impact individuals working toward permanent residency.

California residents may be interested in recent reports regarding the relationship between recipients of government benefits and permanent residency. Reports indicated that the current administration is considering a proposal that may make it more difficult for visa holders on public benefits to obtain permanent resident status. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services may be allowed to consider this assistance as a negative mark on an individual's application.

The press secretary for the Department of Homeland Security stated that any modifications to the policies would be in efforts to better protect taxpayer money. If individuals come to the country and rely on taxpayer-funded benefits, they may be considered public charges and not self-sufficient. The proposal indicates that allowing individuals with reliance on benefits to obtain permanent residency may encourage other individuals to enter the country and obtain benefits as well.

Many people need government benefits in order to make ends meet and provide for their families. If individuals in California have been hoping to achieve permanent residency but fear that a reliance on benefits may hinder their chances, they may wish to gain more information on this proposal. Additionally, seeking professional legal help may allow them to determine whether they could be affected and how they could still move forward with their adjustment of status applications.

Source: washingtonexaminer.com, "Trump administration may block permanent residency requests from visa recipients who receive government benefits", Anna Giaritelli, Feb. 8, 2018

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